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Internet Addiction and Aggression: The Mediating Roles of Self-Control and Positive Affect

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Abstract

Internet addiction has been associated with increased engagement in aggressive behavior, although the individual characteristics that may elevate the risk for these problematic behaviors are unknown. The current study investigated whether self-control and subjective well-being (indexed by positive and negative affect) mediated the association between Internet addiction and aggression among a sample of 284 Israeli-Palestinian students attending grades 9–12 across ten state schools in Israel. Internet addiction was positively associated with aggressive behaviors (r = 0.33, p < 0.01) but negatively associated with self-control (r = −0.34, p < 0.01) and positive affect (r = −0.36, p < 0.01). Similarly, aggressive behaviors were negatively related to self-control (r = −0.38, p < 0.01) and positive affect (r = −0.34, p < 0.01). Notably, self-control and positive affect each mediated the positive association between Internet addiction and aggressive behavior, with self-control and positive affect being protective factors. Thus, the current findings provide theoretical insight into individual characteristics that may exacerbate an individual’s risk for problematic behavior and may encourage intervention approaches to target key skills (e.g., self-control) among adolescents who may be prone to addictive or aggressive behaviors.

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Agbaria, Q. Internet Addiction and Aggression: The Mediating Roles of Self-Control and Positive Affect. Int J Ment Health Addiction (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-019-00220-z

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Keywords

  • Internet addiction
  • Aggression
  • Self-control
  • Positive affect